What Did They Do Before Social Media, Daddy? Sara L Russell, 17th August 2022 at 01:52

Did we ever really exist 
before this time, 
this place and space
this desire to frame everything 
in doorway-shaped pictures
then rush to seek approval on networks
of social acceptance
please like me
please like me
please like me…

Was my face really there
before mirrors made it appear,
to make it be so?
Are there mirrors in Hell?

Was beauty really there
before PhotoShop
lent it that airbrushed glow?
How can we ever tell?

Was the ego 
really a thing
before Zoom gave it 
a platform to shout from
(while discreetly putting others 
on mute)?

How did apps ever survive
without notification
to bring motivation?

Look, now her hair is pink
and he has inked his arm
they have millions of shares…

but your cat can sing and dance
with elegance and charm
and yet, nobody cares. 

 
 
Sara Louise Russell, aka PinkyAndrexa, is a UK poet and poetry ezine editor, specialising particularly in sonnets, lyric-style poetry and occasionally writing in more modern styles. She founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it from 1998 to 2006, when she handed it over to Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide; Robin now runs it as Editor from Poetry Life & Times at this site. Her poems and sonnets have been published in many paper and online publications including Sonnetto Poesia, Mindful of Poetry and Autumn Leaves a monthly Poetry ezine from the late Sondra Ball. Her sonnets also currently appear in the recently published anthology of sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. She is also one of the first poets ever to be published on multimedia CD ROMs, published by Kedco Studios Inc.; the first one being “Pinky’s Little Book of Shadows”, which was featured by the UK’s national newspaper The Mirror, in October 1999. (Picture link for Mirror article) Angel Fire
 
 
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Ode to Olivia. A Poem By Jack D. Harvey

       Ode to Olivia

Oh, Olivia, during
what disingenuous dialogue,
getting closer and closer,
you told me
in that bar by the seashore
"pretty good-time girl
comes once, comes often,"
eyelashes shyly lowered,
thick and lustrous,
lowered time and again
to hide the hard eyes
I knew were there.

I was surprised by
your interest;
vital with intent,
your lithe body
tilted towards me,
white teeth showing
in a smile, breasts
firm and unfettered
in your summer blouse.

Delirious with your fancy magic
I nearly fell off the bar stool,
fell like a fairy-tale frog
clear down to the bottom
of the mossy well, my member
swelling in your favor,
transported to
to your body's joyful openings,
anticipating
hot and wet,
those ports of entry,
those sweet breasts,
that sweet tongue
flicking between your lips;
promises of things to come.

O ye spermy nights of the gods!

The rune on our canoe's tail
says "enter here, ye of little haste"
and willows brush our arms
as we paddle down the river
of ardor and fulfillment
and coming together and
whatever else
we can muster up
from a time of dreams,
from the manna
of this earthly paradise.

Olivia, you were brown as a nut
from a summer of sun;
a glamorous summer goddess
there for the taking and still
it came to nothing.
A change of heart,
a parting glance,
and off you went.

Your naked this I never saw,
your curly that I never pawed;
alone in the majestic garden
of self I sit stiff and cold
as a block of ice;
a lonesome soldier in a sentry box
waiting for the gate to open;
it never does.

Olivia, you left me
as you found me
and just as well
for the both of us.
There we were
in that bar,
and there we are forever,
enshrined, inscribed
like Keats’ Grecian urn,
graceful outlines,
a frieze of some long past event,
at rest in that luminous
wasted moment forever;
no future, no past,
no time at all and
what never happened,
what is not there
just as real
as what is there.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Mark Dwarf Jack D Harvey ebook

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Exam Week. A Poem by Loukia Borrell


Exam Week
 
We were in the middle of finals
and needed a quick getaway, so
we dug out our bathing suits and
packed a cooler with beer and those
hard chocolate chip muffins we
brought back from the cafeteria.
 
I wore a black, polka dot swimsuit
that laced up the front. It was just a
little tight across my tits and, for once,
I had cleavage. My hair looked like
Madonna’s when she did “Like A Virgin,”
even though I wasn’t one. Neither was she.
 
All afternoon, I sunned my young body
on a floating dock and you swam in the lake.
We thought of nothing. Not school, not exams,
not the muffins, not the beer, not our families,
and not our friends who didn’t know where we were.
 
I think of that day when I feel like ending my life.
I have no idea whatever happened to you and don’t
even remember the last time we spoke or saw each other.
All I know is that day. It happened. I remember it.
All afternoon, life was lighter than it has ever been since.

I could float. 

Loukia Borrell is the American-born daughter of Greek-Cypriot immigrants. She is a former newspaper journalist. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals in the United States and United Kingdom, including London Grip, Cerasus Magazine, and The Bangor Literary Journal. She tweets @LoukiaBorrell and has a website, loukialoukaborrell.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Life. A Poem by Amita Sanghavi

Life:

The tear,

The sigh,

The twinkle in the eye.

The whisper,

The wrinkle,

The silent, true story

You and I survive.

Amita Sanghavi writes poetry, teaches at university and loves to visit art galleries and museums.She teaches English at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. An is MA from Lancaster University, UK, she is pronounced Ambassador of Poetry to Oman by World Poetry, Canada and Representative of Immages&Poetry Art Movement, Italy and Affilate Researcher at CELCE University of Leeds, UK.

Her poetry book “Lavender Memories” and two edited poetry anthologies were published in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her latest book s ‘Astad Deboo: Poetry in Dance’

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

King Kong vs. the Green Witch. A Poem by Richard L. Weissman

King Kong vs. the Green Witch

Shuttered in that arched ceiling house with oversized window eyes,
fear frozen as ten foot high Green Witch and King Kong square off
neath crabapple tree beside the scotch heavy station wagon.
Flared feminine nostrils bull out white choking smoke
as accented witch hurls broomstick spears at Brooklyn's hairy ape.
Uncertain who to root for
I cower neath my cottony get,
and pray for peace.

Even now
some nights that five-year-old boy revives
ever cowering neath warm get
as warbled voices of the long dead king and Green Witch,
throw rock centered snowballs
down from sad rooftops of this life.
Amplified through sterile echo chambers,
their cold white straitjackets bind me to safer letters,
as pained hourglass grains drift relentlessly south.
So I wake and puke up vanilla conformity
echoing art house dramas or MGM movie plots,
neutering unknown verses
till they sound like every mediocre show on thin air.
Whispering,
"Picture this... it's easier,"
in hope that peace will come to this mental house divided
if only I write as they want.

 

 
Bio:
 
Richard L Weissman has written fiction since 1987.
In 2000, his theatrical play, “The Healing” was selected by Abdingdon Theatre for a staged reading Off-Broadway.
Richard is the author of two Wiley Trading titles. His second book, Trade Like a Casino was selected as a Finalist for the 2012 Technical Analyst Book of the Year Award.
 
In 2016, Mr. Weissman completed his historical novel in the tradition of magical realism, “Generations”.
 
In 2020 his poem, “Mountain Bird and Loquat” was selected as the grand prize winner of the Florida Loquat Literary Festival.
 
In addition to hosting, “In Our Craft or Sullen Art” – a biweekly poetry radio talk show, Richard participates in live spoken word events throughout the U.S. https://richard-weissman.com/
on Facebook: @magicalrealismnovels
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Unexpected Disturbances & Rhododendrons Blooming in the Smokies. Two Poems by Gary Grossman

Unexpected Disturbances

Damn, what the hell?
I shuffle upstream, rod
in hand, just outside the  
rhododendron line, and
am struck by flying needles 
forearm, ankle and neck.
effing yellow jackets. 

Mother drove poorly
always fiddling,
cigarettes or radio.
until her ‘65 
Karmann Ghia vaulted
a 30 foot embankment
on the road cleaving 

the sage-shrouded hills 
between Tecate and 
Tijuana – DOA—
this story is true, not
artistic license. I
was orphaned at eighteen,
no sibs, no dad.

And so life is an
erupting Krakatoa,
a Hurricane Katrina,
an unexpected disturbance, 
COVID-19, recession
cancer, bipolarity
and yellow jackets,

till the chips are cashed. 
Rhododendrons Blooming in the Smokies 

In Summer’s rumpled heat, the blue 
Scent of hemlocks slides upwards, 
Spreading comfort across the ridgetops.

Stooped shoulders the ridges, remainders 
Of pinnacles, scoured by centuries 
Then slowly cloaked in oak and maple.   
 
Just below the ridgetops, an emerald 
Sea, sharp pines weaving winds 
That unfurl through the hollers.

From the top of a ridge I can almost 
Touch them, reach down through wet air, 
To green-bedded pink blossoms. 

The fluttering hearts of a slow-rolling valley.

 

 
Gary Grossman is Professor Emeritus of Animal Ecology at University of Georgia. His poetry is published or forthcoming in 30 reviews including: Verse-Virtual, Your Daily Poem, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry Superhighway, and Delta Poetry Review. Short fiction in MacQueen’s Quinterly and creative non-fiction in Tamarind Literary Magazine. For 10 years he wrote the “Ask Dr. Trout” column for American Angler. Gary’s first book of poems, Lyrical Years is forthcoming in 2023 from Kelsay Press, and his graphic novel My Life in Fish: One Scientist’s Journey is forthcoming. Hobbies include running, music, fishing, and gardening. Website: https://www.garygrossman.net/ Writing: Blog: https://garydavidgrossman.medium.com/ .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Five Poems in Italian & English Antichi suoni d’amore, Ancient Sounds of Love by Michela Zanarella Translated to English by Leanne Hoppe

Antichi suoni d’amore

L’istante di un sospiro
si aggrappa all’anima
allagando gli occhi
di segreti.
É il cuore
che salta in cielo
a pochi passi dall’eterno.
Percorre lunghi sentieri
di felicità
e si ferma a sciogliere
le pelli sotto gli echi
della sera.
Mentre il tramonto
resta una mano tremante
d’emozione,
le labbra danzano tra loro
e s’inebriano,
di vertebre tese
a trovare quel cielo lontano
che ha strappato i silenzi
per rievocare antichi suoni d’amore.
E continuano a correre
le voci
risorgendo sole al mattino.


Ancient Sounds of Love

The instant of a sigh
grasps onto the soul
flooding the eyes
with secrets.
It is the heart
which jumps in the sky
to a few steps from eternity.
It travels long paths
of happiness
and stops to melt
the skins underneath the echoes
of the evening.
While the sunset
stays a trembling hand
of emotion,
the lips dance between themselves
and inebriate themselves
of tense vertebrae
to locate that faraway sky
that has torn silences
in order to recall ancient sounds of love.
And they continue to run
the voices
resurrecting sun to the morning.

Mongolfiere

Una lacrima cresce tra le mani,
diventa fiume in corsa nelle vene
appena ti allontani.
Non vivo senza il chiaro dei tuoi risvegli,
quando mi baci prima di partire
e stringi il cuscino per annusare l’odore
che ci ha unito nell’infinito.
Ho ascoltato il canto delle serrature
fingendo che fosse solo musica,
ho visto il tuo sorriso svanire
dietro gli angoli d’uno sbadiglio.
Dormo ancora.
Appari dentro i colori d’un arcobaleno
voli nelle mongolfiere dell’anima,
spargi coriandoli di vita dalle sponde del cielo,
accompagni un bimbo al parco della giovinezza,
un uomo abbracciato alla propria immagine
che gioca con palloni di luce
nelle strade bianche della libertà.
Il sogno respira la mia mente.
Trovo una pagina di terra da riempire,
scrivo col fiato qualche domanda,
chiudo gli occhi
e parlo di te alla solitudine.


Hot-Air Balloons

A tear grows between the hands,
it becomes a stream in motion in the veins
as you separate yourself.
I do not live without the bright of your awakening,
when you kiss me before leaving
and you cling to the pillow for the smell
that has joined us in the infinite.
I heard the song of the locks,
imagining that it was only music,
I saw your smile vanish
behind the angles of a yawn.
I sleep yet.
You appear inside the colors of a rainbow,
you fly in hot-air balloons of the spirit,
you scatter confetti of life from the banks of heaven,
you accompany a child to the gardens of youth,
a man nestled to the typical image
that plays with balls of light
in the white streets of freedom.
The dream inhales my intellect.
I find a page of ground to fill,
I write with the breath some question,
I shut the eyes
and I speak of you to the solitude.

Arcobaleni e rugiade

Dove il fiato mi consente
pettino i giorni con un sorriso.
Assorta ad inseguire sogni
come una vita,
con il silenzio dell’anima
provo a fermare I binari
del tempo,
fino a fingermi fioca luce
nel grembo dell’eternità.
Solo un fischio di luna
srotola il mio vagare tra i cieli
e mi riporta
tra le geometrie di terra,
stanca, ad incontrare la realtà.
Sfoglio I grigiori di città
tra arie incattivite da nebbie sporche
ed esistenze ammuffite
nel chiasso e nella velocità.
Mentre i fiumi esplodono
ed I ghiacci si consumano,
con gli occhi infangati di rabbia
cerco un po’ di calma
nel mio mondo ancora immacolato.
Arcobaleni e rugiade
hanno la mia voce.


Rainbows and Dew

Where the breath allows me
I comb the days with a smile.
Absorbed by chasing dreams
as a life,
with silence of the soul
I try to stop the tracks
of time,
I will put an end to pretending to be feeble light
in the lap of eternity.
Only a whistle of the moon
unrolls my wanderings among the heavens
and brings back to me
between the geometries of the earth,
stagnant, to meeting the reality.
I browse the grayness of the city
through songs in captivity of filthy hazes
and molded existences
in noise and in speed.
While rivers burst forth
and ices are consumed,
with eyes stained by anger
I look for a bit of calm
in my world still immaculate.
Rainbows and dew:
they have my voice.

Calde piume

Sintesi di luci imprigionate
nel lento tintinnio d’ormeggi.
Manovre costanti di vento
spingono le vele verso un podio
azzurro
in fusione perfetta col mare.
Gruppi di gabbiani
giocano tra cerchi di sabbia,
sfidando le mutevoli forme
capricciose del sole.
Ali di paradiso,
giganti messaggeri del silenzio
indispettiti dal vocio parallelo
d’altri esploratori d’acque,
lanciano grida convulse
alla conquista di terre lontane.
Trionfa il volo verso l’ignoto.
Oltre le nuvole
tramonti scelti,
destini conclusi,
amori protetti
da calde piume di neve.

Hot Plumes

Synthesis of imprisoned lights
in the slow jingling of moorings.
Steady drives of wind
they push the sails toward
an azure podium
in perfect fusion with the sea.
Packs of seagulls
playing among circles of sand,
challenging fickle forms,
whimsical of the sun.
Wings of paradise,
giant messengers of silence
you get annoyed by a parallel bawl
of the next explorers of waters,
they throw cries unrestrained
to the conquest of distant lands.
Triumph, the flight direction unknown.
Beyond the clouds
sunsets chosen
destinies concluded
loves protected
in the hot plumes of snow.


Come una Venere

Mi apparve muta la sera
in una carezza scura di attimi.
Le sue braccia mi raccolsero
dal profumo del giorno
e mi condussero in una terra
che spiava i sogni e le nuvole.
Sguardi d’angelo
cercavano il mio respiro
per spingere lontano cuori spenti
e lacrime mascherate di gioia.
Indossai la luce
e mi lasciai tuffare tra I rami
ed il grano.
Cantai in coro lodi alla vita
tra il pullulare di polline
e resine.
Mi feci amare dal cielo
come una venere aggrappata
ai venti.
Somigliavo ad una nave
d’argento scalza
pronta a pescare al fondo
le lucciole e gli amori.
Erano bianche le mie impronte
tra i tramonti,
come l’onda trascorsa a
ritornare bagliore.


As a Venus

It seemed to me silent, the night
in a caress dark of moments.
His arms gathered me up
out of the perfume of the day
and they led me into a ground
that spied the dreams and the clouds.
The angel’s glances,
they desired my breath
in order to incite distant hearts extinguished
and masked tears of joy.
I put on the light
and I let go of myself to dip among the branches
and the wheat.
I sang in choir hymns to life
among the swarming of pollens
and resins.
I made the sky love me
as a Venus clinging
to the winds.
I was compared to a silver barefoot ship
ready to fish from the deep
fireflies and romances.
They were white, my imprints
among sunsets,
as a wave passed to
returning shine. 


 
 
Michela Zanarella was born in Cittadella (PD) in 1980. Since 2007 she lives and works in Rome. She published the following collections of poetry: Credo (2006), Risvegli (2008), Vita, infinito, paradisi (2009), Sensualità (2011), Meditazioni al femminile (2012), L’estetica dell’oltre (2013), Le identità del cielo (2013), Tragicamente rosso (2015), Le parole accanto (2017), L’esigenza del silenzio (2018), L’istinto altrove (2019). In Romania the collection Imensele coincidenţe (2015) was published in a bilingual edition. In the United States, the collection translated in english by Leanne Hoppe “Meditations in the Feminine”, was published by Bordighera Press (2018). Author of fiction books and texts for the theater, she is a journalist of Periodico italiano Magazine and Laici.it. She is one of the eight coauthors of Federico Moccia’s novel “La ragazza di Roma Nord” published by SEM. Her poems have been translated into English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, Greek, Portuguese, Hindi and Japanese. She won the Creativity Prize at the Naji Naaman’s 2016 International Award. She is an ambassador for culture and represents Italy in Lebanon for the Naji Naaman Foundation. She is speaker of Radio Double Zero. Corresponding member of the Cosentina Academy, founded in 1511 by Aulo Giano Parrasio. She has worked with EMUI_ EuroMed University, a European inter-university platform, and deals with international relations. She is President of the Italian Network for the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue (RIDE-APS), Italian leader of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF). Honorary President of the WikiPoesia Poetic Encyclopedia.   https://www.facebook.com/MichelaZanarellaOfficial https://twitter.com/michelazanar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Fair Play (As the stars give and take) A poem by Tony Martin-Woods

Roaring Applause
    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
cried the politician, to the excited crowd of tender eyes hit by a trembling sunset Roaring Applause It was an evening of sweat, joy, hope, cheers, banners, drinks, hot dogs, mobile pics, flags and burgers, accidental rubbing of bodily parts, human communion, siblings in arms, shoulder to shoulder, etcetera, etcetera and vice versa all over again They go home now, the event has been consumed, empty all around plastic tall walls plastic cheap stands enclosure formerly green ground of pride covered with dead litter No burial or cremation in this funeral of dusk. Sigh The happy cleaner in charge of clearing single-handedly all the mess went on to the silent stage and shouted husky non-binary vocal chords eyes cast on the sky: Sigh
    I am the only owner of my sexual fantasies with any of you My brain is mine, perhaps a glorified gut, who knows Every shot or scene that I project inside my head with my genitalia-powered camera with my solo heart-pumped streaming belongs solely to me No intellectual property! No performance rights! No subscription fees! Bring your own clothes, or make use of any of my free unlimited costumes in my free exclusive staff undressing room I solemnly promise I will not broadcast nor disseminate any footage whatsoever, so, please, don’t worry about pain or shame, or the pertinence or aesthetics of our postures: We all shall be healed in my dreams lonely we love each other, deep, in full, as one
Fair play Meanwhile, high up, neutron stars thinking themselves as discreet hunters fall prey of inverse matter of no colour unthought of For our light through darkness comes

Quote at the beginning of the poem: apparently first made, literally, by Eleanor Roosevelt, but it could have been said, and will be said in the future, by many other people.
 

Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change 100tpc.org/. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/ .

He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons the Nation Paperback , Goddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition , is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English, available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/91/antonio-martinez-arboleda

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)